tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 23, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
in society, right? we punish them all the way until they die. you cannot do this. you cannot get that. people are going to prison, and they are not being treated, right? they are not being treated at all. there are people that come, and right before your eyes, they are suffering from withdrawals of heroin, not being treated at all. when you do not treat people and you release them to the same community they come from, the same things happen. you can get whatever drug you're looking for in prison, ok? whatever it is. many of them do drugs in prison as well. we have to separate people who are there for nonviolent crimes from the people who are there for violent crimes. i will tell you why. if you are raised in a house full of people who yell, you will raise your voice without knowing. if you are in a prison with a bunch of people who are violent, you will be what as a result? violent.
you are the one handing out the violence or receiving the violence. and the entire system needs to be rehauled. but it has to be that 1% to 10% that has all the money in our society. there has to be a want to change that. i am an advocate for changes inside. if you change what is going on inside, you change the numbers of the people inside, if it is -- i think it is around 70% -- just think about this. over half the people in prison have been there before, right? they have been to prison. there is a place called corrections. they have been released, and they came back. imagine this -- 50% of the cars
that were produced by -- i will not name the company, but if a car company produced cars and, on average, 50% of those cars came back after they left the production line, it would stop. something would be done. so why hasn't it been done with the prison system, right? i mean, the answers may be there. is it because of the people who fill the prison system? is it a black and brown thing? is it a poor thing? it is something. we do know that. thank you for your question. >> hello. my name is amy spence. my fiance has been in prison for 13 years for a crime his best friend committed. polygraphpassed tests, and his best friend admitted he was guilty and also
passed. we have always fought for his innocence, his freedom. there has not been one year that we have not filed something, and he kind of appeal or whatever. recently, the innocence project in ohio decided to collaborate no-trial motion. we have an application of innocence pending with our local integrity unit. they accepted it one year, sat on it for nine months, and denied it. after this article was written by kyle swenson, they decided to reopen his case. officially reopen his case. i think it was because of the attention from the article that, you know, brought them to make that decision to reopen or reinvestigate his case. but as the family members, you know, how do we create more attention on these cases when all the evidence is there, clear as day? if you read this, you would say,
why is this man still in prison? we started a petition on change.org. we got 1000 signatures, but then it stopped. how did your family keep fighting for you? it has been 13 years for us. it seems like -- we got to this point with the innocence project, which is awesome, you know, but we still want to bring more attention to his case and make more people aware of the injustice that are happening to him and so many others. how do family members keep fighting and create that attention? we have written celebrities and everything, too. mr. adams: thank you for your question. i will make sure i will give you my information before i leave. to be honest, that is a question my mother or my aunts could answer better than i could. i will say this. the squeaky wheel gets the oil. you have to continue to beat the drum until the attention comes.
we cannot forget about the power we hold in our hands with cell phones, with social media. you do not have to wait for someone to write a report. you can become your own author and write these blogs, spread them on social media and tag people. tag potus. tag people that continue to beat the drum. he also himself has to continue to wait for justice. look, the unfortunate thing about prison and being in prison is it really does not go slow. before you know it, one christmas will turn into eight before you know it. it is one of these things. the best thing for me to do when i was in there was believe that, every day i was going home the next day. that was one of the things that kept me sane.
it was like reverse psychology for myself. i can imagine what you're going through. i know what it was like to speak on the phone with my mother and do the calls and stuff like that. i would repeat what i said earlier and say, keep the faith, continue to reach out to as many people as you possibly can. i was sending 50 letters a week on average. you're only supposed to get 10 stamps, but many of the letters would not change. it is me again. i was mailing the same people. it took a long time. i was imprisoned for five years before the innocence project took my case. it took a lot of reaching out. back in 1998, there was no google. google did not come out until 1999. there was no e-mail, cell phones, stuff like that. if you're going to tweet and facebook, do it with purpose and with a cause.
thank you. [indiscernible] adams: i will make sure i give you my information. >> this will be a follow-up to that question. each time i have read or heard about a person like yourself being found innocent or being exonerated, it seems that there was an extraordinarily sloppy job done on the police and prosecutors' side of investigating and making any real effort to determine what happened. now, i appreciate the pressure that was brought on assistant prosecutors, or district attorneys, depending on where you are from, to achieve a conviction. but from your vantage point, do you have any suggestions as to changes that could be made on the prosecutors' side and perhaps on the police side to see that matters like yours are, in fact, properly investigated? mr. adams: thank you for your question.
i think that is a great question. i have been giving this some thought. the relationship between the police and a prosecutor should not be as close as they are. they should not be able to work hand in hand. prosecutors should not be able to become investigators and go back to a prosecutor. you should not be able to go into a room and question a suspect, as we have seen some at -- as we have seen so many times with prosecutors. you should not tell a police officer how to question a suspect. we have created a criminal justice system and a system in itself that pits sides against one another. and i don't care if it is a spitball contest, whatever contest it is, you do not care about anything besides winning. when you do that, justice is robbed. so my suggestion would be a separate entity between the police and prosecutors, an
entity where you do not have to know the name of a person to find out if there is enough evidence of guilt. you definitely do not need to know the color of the person to find out if there is evidence of guilt. there should be a room with three open-minded people who would get evidence, look at evidence, and decide whether or not it goes to trial. and the prosecutor and the police should not be able to hand jive that evidence into making it fit wherever they want it to fit. it should not be that way. it just should not. end, if you get out, if you are wrongfully convicted, it is a thing called immunity. you cannot even sue the prosecutors and police unless you catch them doing something egregious, meaning dropping the murder weapon at your house
or something like that. how do you do that? most of the people being wrongfully convicted, they have been there for years, before technology was out. and now science is advancing, with dna an all types of stuff. once you get out, you cannot even punish the people who did that to you because many of them are now captains of the force. it is about winning, not about justice. it is just not. you can see i am passionate about that. that is mind-boggling. thank you. [applause] >> can you comment on the wildly popular "serial" podcast? sort of a similar situation where the lawyer did not do her job. is that going to help the innocence project? mr. adams: i was in prison with steven avery, in wisconsin. i did not know him personally. in prison, you bounce around from prison to prison.
i was in the same system with steven avery. i do not know enough about the case to venture into guilt or innocence or anything like that, but i know this -- i cannot even go and get my own niece or nephew out of school. and i am their uncle. so how can the police get them out of school, question them for hours, take them back to school, and later use that evidence to charge him and his uncle with a crime? if we want to preserve the criminal justice system, they should be given in a new trial. that is what they should begin, should thewhat they given, a new trial. if there is enough evidence and you feel they are guilty, there should be enough evidence to
find them guilty fairly without evidence that was manufactured by way of intimidation and taking advantage of people, just taking advantage of people. for you that have seen the show "making of a murder," you know what i'm talking about. for those of you who have not, some evidence, there was a kid who was basically -- he was questioned for hours and hours with no parent and no lawyer in this police department, being questioned by people who question people for a living and used this evidence to convict him at the trial. it's heartbreaking. this kid is in prison right now. it is a de facto life sentence he has. and i am glad they exposed this through the show. also, there is another point i want to make about the show. steven avery was wrongfully convicted. he was released after 20 years. dna proved he did not commit this rape and murder or something like that.
it was probably a rape. crime he is in jail for now happened a year after his release. he is released from prison with nothing and he is staying on an auto body salvage yard, basically a junkyard, in a trailer, surrounded by nothing but vacant, torn-down cars. isolated. reminiscent of what? a prison. you are also isolated in a prison. he was not given mental health care. no screening, no nothing. just, oh, yeah, our bad, you did not commit the crime. he is released into these conditions of god knows what, a trailer yard, living by himself. now he is in prison for murder. that should be a bigger topic in itself. i do not know the evidence in the case, but i know he was
released, without no one talking to him -- and after 20 years of anything, anything, whether it is marriage or whatever it is, you might need to talk to someone from time to time. he is released from prison, and it is like nothing. that case is just mind-boggling. thank you for your question. [applause] mr. adams: thank you again for having me out, man. really appreciate you. artists tohip-hop explain how they started wrapping and early age. this is from the center for civil and human rights in atlanta. [applause] >> all right. so, just to set the tone for the conversation, we have so much talent, each and every one of you, we could spend this entire
evening talking to, so we're going to get into a number of different topics today. i want to try to hit on as much as we possibly can, which means i'll sometimes move the conversation along. please don't write a song about me, like i don't want the next reagan to be this indian boy -- i don't want that, i don't need that. i'm all good. so, but just, you know, if i -- i want to keep us having a real conversation here. the other thing is i don't want this to be like any other panel. i would like to get as deep as possible into some of these topics that a lot of people skirt around. a lot of the panels like this, people may mention something real quick and just move on because it's controversial. but i want you to be able to be honest about, you know, about what you think and how we can start moving the conversation forward. and how we can start looking at these same conversations differently. so i'd like to actually start off a lot of these types of dialogues, with a question of why you do what you do.
and it is -- it's such an important question because we all have a pretty good familiarity with what you do. but why you do it is the one thing that none of us can ever tell you. it's the one thing that you can teach us. and i would like to do it in a little bit of a different format, and i'll kick it off. i would like for one person to say why they do what they do, and i would love if you tell it through some sort of anecdote or somebody who has influenced you in your life to just quickly get into that, and then whoever the next person will be, i would like you to build off of something that the person before said. so, you know, whatever it is, you say, oh, when you said this, that made me think of this. cool? perfect. so starting off with why you do what you do and why these conversations are so important
to me, personally, is, you know, the first time my mother was ever on an airplane was a one-way ticket from new delhi, india, to chicago, illinois. and she was there to go meet my dad, whom she had an arranged marriage with, and he was supposed to be her knight in shining armor. she went over there, and i always say my dad had a small studio apartment with two roommates, a cockroach, and loneliness. [laughter] and it was tough. within -- don't laugh at my parents, mike. >> sorry. >> within two weeks of their marriage, my dad, who was trying to go to law school, was beaten on the streets of chicago, dragged across the street, thrown into the basement of that studio apartment, and my mom found him like that. after i was born, my parents said we're going to get out of
the united states, we're going to go back to india and raise our son in india, and then within a few months, they were, like, never mind, we're going back to the united states. and when they came, my dad came with a small suitcase. and that suitcase was filled with merchandise that he had collected from different markets, and he unzipped -- he took the suitcase, took it on a plane, and did his first ever trade show. and when he did his trade show, my mom and i were pacing back and forth, waiting for him to come back. finally, when he came back, he still had the suitcase in his hand. i was like, damn it. i thought this time was going to be -- it was going to be different. and i remember this, there is one moment in your life you always remember, it's the first time you see your parents cry. my dad unzipped the suitcase, and there was nothing in it. and he and my mom cried and said, everything is going to be ok. we're going to be all right.
and my dad was an entrepreneur. he is an entrepreneur, but he wouldn't call himself that. and so why i do what i do is i believe there are people who live in poverty and can fight out of poverty through true entrepreneurship, and that people who say i don't know if poor communities are ready to be entrepreneurs, then i say, you don't know what an entrepreneur is, because poor communities is where entrepreneurship lives. that's why i do with what i do. i don't know if that resonates with you, but i would love for you to jump in. >> it hits me really hard because i started writing poetry when i was 7, and i started writing poetry because the adults didn't want to answer my questions. and i was seeking answers, and i
was telling -- what's the sister who works here with the tangerine? what's her name? after we did a tour of the museum, i did not anticipate being so moved. i think david and i were talking about the space. and it drew up so many things for me, and so i started writing poetry as a way to deal with my pain and my frustration, and also to express my politics. and the people in my community, the working-class black community, did not like the idea of a political 8-year-old. and my grandfather, who was from the deep south, bunky, louisiana -- what? anybody? no? it made him nervous because he told stories of what happened to him as a black man and he did not want that to happen to me. so at 9 years old, he sat me down and told me the story of
malcolm x and martin luther king, and kennedy, and for me the only theme was death and assassination, so i was programmed at an early age to be quiet and if you're going to talk shit talk it at home. and that he gave me permission to say whatever i wanted to say directly to him. nobody else. it did liberate me in a sense. there was a man giving me permission to be strong, but not in the world where i needed it most. and so poetry was my only outlet that kept me sane, as a sensitive, empathic, overly emotional black, dark-skinned black girl impacted by trauma to this day, who had mad daddy issues, because daddy had his issues, and my mom did not know how to emote. but i was loved. i was loved, like that deep country love, so it was very confusing for me. so poetry became my freedom.
and so people always -- you know, i see people from college, i went to howard, and they laugh, like, you still rapping? like they just think it's cute, like it's funny or it's silly as hell. and they don't understand that this rhyme, this microphone, this one mike is my liberation. it's my freedom. and still, when i'm the most stressed, i freestyle. and i pass that tool on to young people and artists in hoods around the world. we talk about my travels here with an 18-year-old sister and why it was so significant to me. as we talked i realized, she got me real passionate, oh, you're going to senegal the next time i go. >> you were saying that something resonated with you. >> both of you, the entrepreneurship, but also how
you found your voice in words. for me, i had rejected school, right? i didn't relate to it. it was boring and it was racist, and it was a lot of things about it that i was just like, i'm just here wasting my time and energy. and one of my teachers, in ninth grade -- this is how backwards it was -- in ninth grade, i had never heard of malcolm x, black panther party, or none of the victorious side of our culture, right? so -- but i always rapped, right? i was rapping, and she was like you're always rapping, but what are you talking about? you know? and so she gave me a challenge. she was like, i'm going to give
you these -- these books. it was like some brown leather ebony books. she was, like, soak that up. in my language i'm saying -- i forgot what she said, but she was, like, soak that up, and if you can write a rhyme about black history, i'll let you perform at the first ever black history assembly in the racist county i grew up in, wakulla county. so long story short, that weekend, i get my beats and i'm looking through and i'm learning about hughey newton and -- it's just explaining everything that we've been going through, why, my mom would say, tell the insurance man i ain't home. and it explained what "nigger" means, and all of that, and so i pour all of that into that song and the song ended up being called "black as i could get,"
because that's how i was feeling. and i did the song at the assembly, and the racist principal comes on the stage while i'm spitting and turned my mike off, turned the music off, and just violate -- and he was, like, you can't say that. and the whole student body was, like, we not having it. meleed up, windows broke, couple of jawbones out of place. and then i went outside, and it was like this, but it was all of the local news or whatever, it was the churches, the nation of islam, all the people from the community came, and at that moment, i just really wrote the verse to be able to say my other rap, my "big daddy came" rap. but it put me -- you know what i mean? it put me in the middle of the
struggle for control over the black history community by students and the community, and that's what put me on the path of recognizing what i say on the mike is related to community struggles, and you can learn when you disengage from the school system, you know what i mean? american history tv marks the 100 anniversary of the national park service, live on thursday to look at past park stewardship and current conservation challenges. we recently asked the more town center on which national park service site has special meaning for him, and here is his response. senator alexander the great smoky mountain national park, because i grew up there, i live there. it is the most versatile mostnal park in the -- the
visited national park in the country. it has more trees, different kinds of trees and all of europe put together. all sorts of wildlife. 80 years ago, there were about 100 black bears. now there are 1600. now you can see two dozen turkeys in my yard. i like the fact that i can work out of my house, two miles into conservation property, and walked into the great smoky park, which includes the highest mountains united states. i like the source of the people who live there, because i like the western parks, built from land that people already own. eys -- peopleky's wer were moved out of the park, and
the park bought their land. most of us living around there, they feel like we own it because it used to be ours. there is a sense of ownership about the smokies. there is a special set of ownership about the park there. >> why is it important to preserve sites like this? one is thexander: wildlife. to be able to see two dozen turkeys wall in your front yard, the white tailed deer, countless number today, that is one. to allow these great trees to grow back. d in are mostly all logge the 1980's, and now they are growing back. the family stories, the people who live there. i remember in a 1980's when i was governor, i took a walk in the park and i stopped to see a
person who was then 95 years old, had been blind for 25 years, and he was still allowed to live in the park, although it was created in the 1930's, and he was the last man who was allowed to live in the park. when he died, no other people lived in the park. he was very reclusive. a couple of supreme court justices tried to see him, and he would not see them. he a lot me to come in. i said we have not had had many governors from this part of the state, and he said, and we have not had many men of steel yet either. one of the highlights was the 50th anniversary, and at the 75th anniversary in 2009, they in a beautifulwith area, and the knoxville tennessee simply came, and on a
sunday afternoon i played the piano, the symphony played, and we played amazing grace, and sounded like the old that pipes that the scottish people used to bring into the mountains 200 years ago. being able to do that on the 50th at the 75th anniversary of the park, with thousands of people listening, was a big thrill for me. just part of what lamar alexander have to say about the smokies, and thursday marks the 100th anniversary of the park service. that morning, we will focus the first part of "washington past, present, and future of the parks. we will be live from arlington national symmetry as american history tv marks the 100th anniversary. 7:00 eastern on c-span3. -- sunday night of of oneas an average
racial lynching a week in the south. it was a brilliant psychological device to hold down a race, because you were afraid it could happen to you. lynching," about the trial following the 1981 killing inmichael donald by the kkk mobile, how about. >> michael was this teenager, trained become a clear, the youngest of seven children, and his and wants to ask him to give et a pack of cigarettes. a man pulls out his pistol and orders him into a backseat of the car, and he knows when he gets in the car what is going to happen. a black man in alabama, you know. eastern. night 8:00
return house and senate from their recess two weeks from today. on the agenda, federal spending for fiscal year 2017, programs for the zika virus, and usually on defense policy. also the possibility that the house could impeach the irs commissioner. watch the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. >> we need serious leadership. this is not a reality tv show. this is as real as it gets. mr. trump: we will make america great again. >> live coverage of the presidential and vice-presidential debate on c-span, c-span radio app, and www.c-span.org. monday, september 26, is the
first presidential debate, and october 4, the vice presidential candidates'debate. then the second presidential debate, leading up to the final trump between clinton and at the university of nevada las vegas on october 19. live coverage on c-span. listen live on the free radio app, or watch anytime on-demand at www.c-span.org. >> president obama traveled to recentna today to tour la plata damage north up and roots. he met with residents and delivered remarks on government response and assistant to the area. this is half-an-hour.
make that happen. everyone is all lined up? another member of congress here. to begin with, i just want to say thank you to the outstanding officials behind me who have been on the ground working 24/7 since this flood happened. it begins with outstanding leadership from the top, with the governor john bel edwards, and we very much appreciate all the outstanding work he has done, his better half, the first lady of louisiana, i know has been by his side every step of the way. and we are grateful for her. i know they have their own
cleaning up to do because the governor's mansion was flooded as well. in addition, i want to acknowledge senator bill cassidy, senator david vitter, represented gary gray, representative cedric richmond, the mayor of baton rouge kip holden, and somebody who i cannot brag enough about, one of the best hires i have made as president, the administrator of fema, craig fugate, who has done such an outstanding job not just in dealing with this particular incident, but has really rebuilt fema so that there is a change of culture, and everybody knows that when a disaster happens, fema will be on the ground cooperating with state and local officials rapidly and with attention to detail and keeping the families who have been affected uppermost in their minds.
so we very much appreciate everything craig has done. it is hard for craig to be here, by the way, because he is a florida gator, and he has been seeing a lot of lsu t-shirts we have been passing by. i had a chance to see some of the damage from the historic floods here in louisiana. i come here, first and foremost, to say the prayers of the entire nation are with everybody who lost loved ones. we are heartbroken by the loss of life. there are also people who are still desperately trying to track down friends and family. we will keep on helping them every way we can. as anybody who can see just the streets, much less the inside of the homes here, people's lives have been upended by this flood. local businesses have suffered terrible damage. families have, in some cases, lost homes. they have certainly lost
possessions, priceless keepsakes. i was just speaking to a young woman whose husband died shortly after the birth of her second child. and she was talking about how her daughter was trying to gather all of the keepsakes she had in her bedroom that reminded her of her father. you and that gives you some sense that this is not just about property damage. this is about people's roots. you also have a situation where there are a lot of kids that were supposed to start a new school year, and they will need some special help and support for a while. sometimes when these kinds of things happen, it can seem like too much to bear, but i want the people of louisiana to know is you are not alone on this.
even after the tv cameras leave, the whole country will continue to support you and help you, until we get folks back in their homes, and lives are rebuilt. the reason i can say that with confidence is because that is what americans do in times like this. i saw it when i visited this place, louisianans when i came down here as a senator after katrina. i saw it when i visited new orleans for the 10th anniversary last year. i know how resilient the people of louisiana are, and i know that you will rebuild again. and what i have seen today proves it. i want to thank all the first responders, the national guard, all the good neighbors who were in a boat going around and making sure people were safe, showing extraordinary heroism, and in some cases, risking their own lives.
governor edwards, the state, the city, the parish governments have all stepped up under incredibly difficult circumstances. i just want to thank the people on this block. as i was walking down, one woman at the end, elderly, she was on her own. she had just lost her daughter. a young man next door was helping his father, but also offered to help out that neighbor so that she could salvage as much as she could and start the process of rebuilding. with respect to the federal response, over a week ago i directed the federal government to mobilize and do everything we could help. fema administrator craig fugate arrived here a week ago to help in that effort. homeland security secretary jeh johnson visited last week to make sure state and local officials are getting what they need. to give you a sense of the magnitude of the situation here, more than 100,000 people have applied for federal assistance so far. as of today, federal support has
reached $127 million. that is for help like temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and flood insurance payments. fema is also working with louisiana around the clock to help people displaced by floods find temporary housing. and any louisiana family that needs help, you can find your nearest disaster recovery center by visiting fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-fema. i am going to repeat that. fema.gov or 1-800-621-fema. but federal assistance alone will not be enough to make people's lives whole again, so i'm asking every american to do what you can to help get families and local businesses back on their feet. if you want to help if you want , to help, governor edwards put together some ways to start at volunteerlouisiana.gov. that is volunteerlouisiana.gov.
the reason this is important, even though federal money is moving out, volunteer help actually helps the state because it can offset some of its costs. obviously, private donations are going to be extremely important as well. we want to thank the red cross for everything they are doing, but there are a lot of private philanthropic organizations, churches, parishes around the state and country who want to help as well. that is how we are going to make sure that everybody is able to get back on their feet. let me just remind folks, sometimes once the floodwaters pass, people's attention spans pass. this is not a one-off, this is not a photo op issue. this is how to make sure of one
month from now, three, six months from now, people are still getting the help they need. i need all americans to stay focused on this. if you are watching this today, make sure that you find out how you can help. you can go to volunteerlouisiana.gov or to fema.gov. you can even go to whitehouse.gov, and we will direct you. we are going to need to stay on this because these are some good people down here. i am glad to families i have a chance to meet were safe, but they got a lot of work to do. they should not have to do it alone. thank you very much, everybody. god bless. >> thank you, mr. president. [inaudible] president obama: we discussed that on the way here. what you have here is the stafford act provides a certain match. a lot of the homes have flood insurance, but a lot do not.
what craig fugate is doing, what i instructed him to do from the start is let's get money out as fast as we can, because we know there will be a certain amount of assistance that is going to be forthcoming. there is no point in waiting. we have to make initial estimates and start pushing stuff out. that helps us and the governor, and all these officials here do their jobs. then what we have to do, as we fine-tune what is needed, when we know, for example, how much permanent housing will need to be built, when we have a better sense of how much infrastructure has been damaged, what more we need to do in terms of mitigation strategies, that is when congress, i think, may be called upon to do more. the good news is, you have four members of congress here. a number of that happened to be
in the majority, so i suspect they may be able to talk to the speaker, mitch mcconnell. in part, because of the fine stewardship at fema, and frankly, because we have been a little lucky so far -- and i'm going to knock on wood in terms of the money coming out this year -- fema has enough money now for the cost to be absorbed. the issues will be less what we need to do in terms of paying for the short term. it will be the medium-term and the long-term rebuilding. congress should be back in session right after labor day. by that time, we will have a better assessment. in the meantime, lawyers at fema will be examining what statutory flexibility we have got. and i know the governor has been on top of making sure louisiana gets everything it can get in order to help rebuild. >> [inaudible] do you worry about coming here
and not earlier, about being criticized? president obama: no, i do not. first of all, one of the benefits of being five months short of leaving here, i do not worry too much about politics. the second thing i have seen, historically, when disasters strike, that is one of the few times where washington tends not to get political. i guarantee you, nobody on this block, none of those first responders, nobody gives a hoot whether you are democrat or republican. what they care about is making sure they are getting the drywall out, carpet out, there is not any mold building, they get some contractors in here and they start rebuilding as quick as possible. that is what they care about. that is what i care about. so we want to make sure we do it right, we do it systematically, but the one thing i just want to repeat is how proud i am of fema. because if you think about the number of significant natural disasters that have occurred
since my presidency began, you would be hard-pressed to find a local official anywhere in the country, including those in the other party, who would not say that craig fugate and his team have been anything less than exemplary and professional. and one of the things i did when i walked through each of these homes was asked, have you contacted fema, have you filed? uniformly, they said that they had been in touch with fema, they had acted professionally, some had been out for inspections. i think that does indicate why it is important for us to take the federal government seriously, federal workers seriously. there is a tendency sometimes to bash them and to think that they are these faceless bureaucrats. but when you get into trouble, you want somebody who knows what
they are doing, who is on the ground working with outstanding officials, and that is true whatever party. i could not be prouder of the work that fema has done. that does not mean that there will not be folks who need more help, that will not have some constraints statutorily, and congress will need to step up, but it means the basic backbone, infrastructure, and architecture we have in terms of disaster response, i think, has been high quality. i am very proud of them for that and i want to publicly acknowledge them for that. >> [inaudible]
president obama: how are you? come on. here. we have to have pictures. we have to have a podium. you get on one side, you get on the other. that way, we can look like we are giving a press conference together. how are you all doing? [indiscernible] president obama: is that right? [indiscernible] president obama: do you have video on that?
that way i can send video. ok. what is reversed a? tell me when you are ready. i want to wish you a happy birthday. everything is going to be ok. mom and dad have this covered. the president has your back. all right, so have a wonderful birthday celebration. thank you. >> god bless you. [indiscernible] president obama: that happens when it is hot.
>> part of president obama's visit to baton rouge touring flood damage. more at 8:00 eastern. it's books tv in primetime on c-span2. on c-span3, american history tv with events on the u.s. presidency. acting president obama's visit in louisiana there in zachary. joined by david better and bill cassidy and congressmen from the who hasrret graves, been posting a number of scenes from the flooding damage.
more on his facebook site. "e of his recent posts today, one of the greatest stories of the louisiana flooding is how the people and free markets are playing a role in both rescuing people and delivering relief much quicker than the government." is the majority with, steve scalise -- majority whip, steve scalise. he posted a times picayune story about how new orleans chefs sent 50,000 meals to flood victims. promotesaker paul ryan their republican better way agenda. posting this video about a groundbreaking in his district that will deal with people in
-- here is his youtube video. >> we are in the climate facing where we just had a climate works project. other private entities, skylake and others, have been supportive of helping those that need the job training and sobriety help, maybe even food just to survive in our rural community. this will be a one-stop shop to get people get a hand of out of poverty and get their life back together. host: as you are aware from some of our programming and your travels, 100 anniversary of the national parks system, national parks service. dianne feinstein has been tweeting about this weekend in --rticular, citing
you can find more of those on our twitter page. twitter.com/c-span. look for members of congress. we are two weeks away from congress returning from their summer recess. thee be back on tuesday sixth of september. a lot on their agenda to get done in a short period of time, including fiscal 20 see -- fiscal 2017 spending. prevention programs for the zika virus, defense programs and policy. if possible house will consider impeachment of the earth commissioner john cosco. the house is live and dissented -- house is live on c-span and senate live on c-span two. next, the future of the federal welfare programs at the cato foundation in light of the 20th
anniversary of the signing of the 1996 welfare law. that legislation consolidated at several federal aware for a and created a temporary assistance for needy families program. and isthis is from cato an hour and 45 minutes. i am not talking this time around, i'm going moderate the panel. i have real experts on here who are going to turn this over to because you will enjoy listening to them. the second panel we want to build a little bit on what you just heard. we heard a little bit of looking back at some people got some ideas of how they would make changes. we want to focus this panel in particular on not just what we have done but what do we do now? welfare reform is 20 years old. there is entire generations of people in college who do not remember welfare before welfare reform.
it is a question now when we talk about how to we deal with the poor, how do we fix things, how to make things better in the future that people are not looking back some much as looking forward. i am hoping we have discussions know about what are the next steps for welfare reform, what is the next version of welfare reform. i think it will look different than in the past. the panel will help answer that question and i will read everybody off and we will move one into the other and keep it moving swiftly along. presidentith device -- the vice president for family income support policy. you have heard them referred to a lot already. they are a sharp group in terms of this. sees finished work analyzing poverty trends. joining the center of
she was part of another very good group in terms of good numbers crunching and data. she also worked for the urban institute, the department of health and human services on reform issues and for the d.c. commission on social services. she has some practical level experience which is important. we will hear from michael strange who is the director of economic policies and resident scholar at the american enterprise institute. i stole some of their survey data earlier today. he works on labor economics, applied microeconomics and , social policy. he has been published in a wide number of peer-reviewed journals and policy journals. and of course most of the major newspapers. and has done a great deal of work on welfare reform and poverty issues for aei.
rebecca is the managing director for the property to prosperity program at american progress. she worked for they national organization of social security claimants. an acronym that i cannot even pronounce. she worked on disability which is another issue we have heard addressed here. she is very prolific in terms of the tv and debate world. we don't do screaming here. it is a different world. we're looking forward to her as well. and a senior editor at the claremont review of books and author of two books. this should fit in well here.
his works appeared in a wide number of newspapers and peer-reviewed journals across the country. we expect a lively discussion here so i will get it out of the way and turn it over to donna. i think it is under -- important to understand where i come from. i have spent -- and involved with looking at welfare reform since it started. i have been mainly doing work in the field looking at the implementation of welfare reform
and particularly tanf. heard conversations about the work that kathy even did on how people make ends meet and i was one of the interviewers who did work on that book. i did work on afdc. one of my key focuses is on work and think about how we do a better job of helping people who have trouble entering the labor market. i think on welfare reform it is a good time to take a step back. what i want to do is i think one thing that is important is my experience of being in the field is there are three distinct periods since tanf was implanted and the reason is that is important is that i often think that we have a positive story that comes from the early years. in the first four years, 1996 through 2000 we had a booming economy. states really changed and shifted their welfare offices
toward work. we saw work programs being developed that had not been before. we had lots of job opportunities for people including people who had more barriers to employment. we also saw the beginning of people using full family sanctions, which is people losing benefits who could not comply with work requirements. the caseload declined that we saw in the early years was not on because people were getting work. then we had this second period, and that is when we had the first recession hit. states had so much flexibility, they had budget holes they needed to fill during the recession and tanf became a slush fund.
we started to see much more movement away from those core purposes. and then what happened then is in 2005, tanf was reauthorized and we had the dra and we had declining work opportunities, we had what came to be impossible to meet work standards which i will talk about in my recommendation. we had the great recession hit, we had even bigger budget holes and money out of tanf's core purposes. very quickly i think what is also important to me in thinking about what are the facts that i subscribe to that my recommendations come from. one is that heather mentioned is that tanf serves very few people. it serves 28 for every 100 people in poverty. there are 12 states, and that number will certainly almost increase, and a number is below 10. in louisiana there are about , five families out of every 100
who receive assistance who are in poverty. that number is very low. we also know that benefits have gone down dramatically and we have not had -- benefits have not increased and in most states benefits are extremely low. you have heard this morning, this slide is an important side which really does show the employment trend and why i think it is important to keep those three periods in check. ec this gap between never married mothers with children and single women with no children under the age of 18. that gap was closed in 2000. in 2000, those lines started to move together. what you have is two groups of women who have similar levels of education who have almost identical employment trajectories. what i take away from this is that there was this movement, we are on a downward trajectory for almost everybody who has a high
school diploma or less. that is a labor market issue we have to start paying attention to. here think is another thing that is important is what this does is to look at the number of single mothers who are not employed. we've seen a lot about people who are employed and saw that go up. you also see the number of single mothers with no employment during the year going up. the bottom line is to show what is happening to tanf. we have 2.4 times as many mothers who are not employed at all during the year that we serve on tanf. we have a group of women, single moms were not in the labor market and are not getting any help. that is something we need to be worried about. you have heard before there is eight cents of every dollar of tanf goes to work programs. states are not spending their money to help.
there is a lot of people who could be helped by that but are not. not only does it not go for work, it does not go for childcare and it does not go for basic cash. so given that set of facts what do we need to do to change tanf so we can focus on the facts that we have for today, not on the history but on today. i think what we need to be doing is we need to focus on two goals and ron mentioned this in his , presentation this morning. we need to be focused on how to we provide an effect of safety net and how do we create effective work programs? that is important for two reasons. one is that we do have families who hit on hard times and it is their kids who suffer. heather mentioned this at the end of her presentation. we know a lot about what happened when families, kids grew up in poverty. if they do not have access to a safety net they end up in a very precarious situation.
they may use some of the strategies that really allow them to make, have more income but they end up in very unstable , situations. that is one reason why that is important, but the other reason why it is important is there are not a lot of resources available to help people who need help getting into the labor market. if they are not getting help from tanf, they're not likely to get help from other places as well. we have a poorly and declining funding stream that goes toward workforce programs. by not serving families we have not provided a safety , net but we also have taken away the opportunity to do what tanf was intended to do which is to help families get into the labor market. the other thing that ron talked about earlier, you cannot make progress in each of those goals unless you really address how funds are spent. what are the changes we could make that would make a
difference? first is that states are not held accountable for serving families in need. states could serve, those numbers are going to go down. we will see more families who are serving five out of 100 families. we need to create an accountability measure. we need to hold states accountable for providing assistance to people who need it. if it imagine that could be coming up to the national average over some time or setting some minimum standards. the other is sitting minimum benchmarks for benefit levels and eligibility requirements. one of the things we have seen as states needed the money is they have made the eligibility requirements tougher. two examples, one thing that indiana did is they made a much harder for families to come in the front door and have a very stringent work requirement which many people cannot meet. their caseload has plummeted. arizona has over the last several years gone from a 60 month time limit to a 12 month time limit. they did that for budget reasons. right now people in arizona can only receive assistance for 12 months.
we think we need to set some minimum standards there so that we again have a safety net that can help families. and finally we feel it one of the things that is important is creating a recession response fund. we had extra money during the recession because of the tanf emergency fund created, and states were able to do with providing more cash of people needed it, they were able to provide subsidized jobs, we had 265,000 jobs that were provided they could be used for emergency , assistance. we need to have some that kicks in quickly when we hit the next recession. this has to do with how do we create effective work programs? you have to have people in the one, program in the first place to help them. this is probably the most controversial recommendation that i have, but from being in the field, the one thing that we have to do is we have to replace
teh tanf work participation rate with an employment outcome measure. if we don't, we will not see change. what i see in the field, states tying themselves in knots trying to meet those rates which are meaningless and i will give you an example of what i mean. the chart that i showed you of the number of women, single mothers not employed. in indiana that went from 59,000 in 1995, 1996, it is at 97,000. it has almost doubled. we have almost 100,000 single moms in indiana who are not working, had no work in 2014. on their tanf caseloads they served 10,600 families. 2200 of them were subject to work requirements. 687 of them actually met the work requirements. 612 of them were in subsidized employment so they were working.
indiana served of those 100,000 families, single parents did not have work, they in their programs were able to engage 75 of them. that is not what tanf is about and it needs to change. the other is that what we have seen in our workforce system is a movement toward much more education and training because of the change in the labor market. tanf has stayed in this workforce world and it means that we are constraining tanf recipients from being able to get the education and skills that will allow them to succeed in the labor market. it also means states do not seek coordination and collaboration as a possibility because it is too hard because of tanf constraints make that difficult. finally, this is one of the things that ron said is that we really need to encourage states to identify effective strategies for helping individuals with significant employment barriers
find employment. when welfare reform was debated there was a lot of concern about , the families who were on tanf for long periods of time. many of them had significant barriers, depressions, kids with special needs, history of substance abuse, and that is a very group of families that have been left behind. f, they are at tan job-search programs without a lot of help to help people overcome those barriers and help them make those transitions and we need to think about what are the pathways that would work to help that group of families get to work. i think ron's ideas of waivers was a good one to start. we need to figure out ways to integrate them more fully. finally what i want to talk as i said to start there
is no we can accomplish anything if you do not change the way state can spend their funding. some of it is taking away some of the flexibility they have. we have two recommendations. one is requiring states to direct more of their tanf funds to tanf score purposes. nationwide it is half. you will find states that are all over the map. and really trying to think about how can you push states in the direction so they are spending more on those core purposes and the other is we know that the block grant has lost its value. it is 30% less than it was when he was initiated. it is thinking about how can you add funding and how you can you do that targeted to those core purposes and not an increase out allows states to spend that anywhere they want. one of the lessons we learned, tanf is not a model for other programs. work requirements, we have an argument, do we leave people behind? looking at a study one of the
previous presenters, there is 10% of single moms who were worse off than before welfare reform. that is 2 million kids. we are putting 2 million kids that we are putting in precarious situations. if you look at the next 2 million they were even and then there is some increase. you lead you see this difference between some people who were helped and some who are worse off. we need to worry about this kids who are worse off because they are the ones who have the least likelihood of succeeding in the future. the other is one thing we have to recognize is that we put a lot of stock in what states would do and the did not live up to the promise. there is a wide range of ways in which states could use their funds. we need to think about what would happen if you gave states more flexibility with other programs, would we have worse outcomes or where would we end up?
they were lucky to have an incredibly robust labor market but after that they have moved away from that. they are struggling to figure out how they can do the right thing and we need to think about whether or not we know enough and whether or not states are the right ones to come up with the ideas in this flexible world to move people to work. [applause] >> thank you for having me. this is been a great morning and an important topic. it is an honor to be included in such distinguished company. the subject is going forward, what should welfare look like? i
will construe welfare very broadly and argue we need welfare reform for men. if you look basically at what is happening among men in the workforce, you see that their workforce participation rates have been going down dramatically. only 4 in 10 of adult high school dropouts have a job. the labor force participation age workersent prime has dropped from over 97% when these statistics again after world war ii. today that is 88%. we that is a tremendous decline in the share of prime age men who are working. unemployment among minority youth is shockingly high month ranging from 25% to 50% depending on the business cycle. a lot of that is concentrated among men as well.
there is a problem of men working particularly low skilled , men, men without a lot of experience. why is that happening? there is a mix of supply and demand factors. roughly the left gets is half right and the right gets this half right. there are serious barriers to work that men face. amen face the, too -- i focusing on men. there are barriers that keep men out of the workforce. specifically or if you look at programs like social security, you see -- you get a good sense of the problem. there are also demand factors. globalization is extremely important in reducing employment among men. when businesses have to compete -- when labor markets are
globalized so businesses can choose to take advantage of workers in very different parts of the world, different labor markets, that pushes down wages for low skilled men and that pushes many low skilled men out of the workforce. technological change is the most important demand-side factor that is affecting male employment. you see businesses not wanting to hire as many people in certain occupations, in certain industries. and those employment losses are concentrated among lower skilled workers. think about a bank and imagine the bank has a ceo, cashier, and custodian. technology comes along, we do not have cashiers anymore, we have atms. as technology continues to advance we're going to find a , way to clean the buildings with fewer people.
the ceo becomes more valuable. and so it is those lesser skilled workers that are being replaced, the same thing is happening in factories. you can argue that manufacturing is a white-collar profession because you sit behind a computer and tell the robots what to do, as opposed to the idea that most people have from after world war ii. the labor market is experiencing many changes. and those changes are broad big, , global changes and those changes are related to policies here at home. what is the most important? if you think about a simple economics 101 test, we know that the number of men who are working has declined. if that was driven by supply change, by men just not wanting
to work, you would expect to see wages increase. if that is primarily driven or in large part driven by demand change, business not just wanted to hire as many lesser skilled men you would expect to see , prices decline. the price in the labor market is just a wage. but we have seen are significant clients in inflation-adjusted wages. since 1979, real wages for men with only a high school degree have declined by 20%. one of the things we learned from scott winship's research is statements like the one i just made or more complicated than we often understand. the general story that wages for lesser skilled men have been falling, wages for college graduates have been rising, and that is due in large part to the
changing nature of what firms are looking for in workers. in addition to being affected by supply-side issues. i think it points us in the right direction for welfare andrm in the 21st century, i am focusing on welfare reform for men. so what should we do? i think we should remove barriers to employment. we have a serious problem, for example, with occupational licensing. it is the case that occupational licensing is a good thing. you probably would not want a brain surgeon who did not have some sort of license, although i would think there are some libertarians who would argue otherwise, but a broadly consensus view, and as michael mentioned in the introduction,
occupational licenses for hairdressers and others are barriers to entry, keeping out, keeping people out of jobs. reform of programs, disability insurance is an obvious candidate for reform. likely a large number of people, a large number of men, in rolled in that program that could be working, at least to -- a large number of men, that program. we normally view it as binary. you either can work, or you cannot work. factors like factory accidents. you cannot go back to work. economy, we can think of disability as a
continuum, and if there are some jobs that disabled americans can perform and would like to perform, then public programs should not be keeping them out of that, even if it is not 40 hours a week. i think, are only going to be, a larger problem .oing forward as a consequence, both changes in the labor market, that are pushing down wages for workers,illed especially lesser-skilled men, and the direction things have taken, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is reckless and irresponsible. that as farrease outside what current economic estimates of employment impacts can confidently forecast, and it is a policy that might help the will leaves, but it
the most vulnerable members of the society to pay the , so removing barriers to employment and stopping new barriers from presenting themselves i think is very important. in addition to removing barriers, i think we need to incentivize work. the gold standard here seems to be the earned income tax credit. is annow, there earned-income tax credit that offers over 6000 dollars for single mothers with three children. again, a lot of this depends on family size and what you are talking about, but say, roughly, , and roughly $500 for single adults with no children at home, a lot of whom are men. it is important that we give assistance to families with children than not, but we could expand the benefit to childless
adults, while still maintaining a gap between childless households and households with children. this would serve two important purposes. it would pull people into the workforce. we know these have pulled people into the workforce, and there is every reason to expect it would happen if we do this, and, of course, the earned-income tax effectivean extremely anti-poverty tool, affecting children every year, and it is very well targeted. unlike the minimum wage, it goes to low-income households. it does not go to the middle class. we need to build skills. this one is much harder to do, i think, from the federal level. some promisinge work-based programs targeted at
lower-income adults, lower-income men, as a way to rry classroom training with what they want to increase employment and increase wages. the nice thing about these workplace training programs, they are determined by local businesses, not by bureaucrats. worker toess wants a do something, they post a -- ity, and the workplace is the business determining what needs to be done at the business. it is not the bureaucracy attempting to divine what needs to be done. so i think there is a lot of promise there. and finally, i think as part of welfare reform for men, their need to be changes in our -- there ne this is
be changes in our culture, and this is difficult. i have some sympathy, but a culture that supports marriage, supports family, that supports that supports providing for your kids and being a role model in their and meeting your obligations i think is very important, and that is an uncomfortable thing to talk about today, but i think it is important. i think it is only becoming more important, and i think if you are talking about non-employment nonparticipation among men, i think it stands to reason that if we had a stronger culture around being a good parent and meeting your obligations to your children that you might see an increase
in participation or an increase in employment. that is a conjecture. can public policy do about that? i think that is a different issue that i think leaders can do -- can make some progress in. so i will close by addressing why this matters. there are economic reasons why lowhould be concerned about employment among men, and i think you can justify a lot of policies on purely economic grounds. the growth rate of gdp and of standards isving tied there he much to the workforce, -- is tied very much .o the workforce if you look at the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, that increase was driven entirely by women
entering the workforce, and at the same time that was increasing, the workforce participation among men had been declining the whole time, so we do not have a third gender out there that we can bring into the workforce. that means that the two genders we have -- i don't know, maybe we do, but there is no equivalent to what we saw in the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's, and that means if we want to have a growing workforce participation rate, we will need men to reverse that trend or at least .ave it level off i think that provides enough justification for many policies. if you are concerned about society, if you are concerned about civil society, if you are concerned about creating a society where individuals enjoy a mutual dependence on others and have mutual obligations to others, if you think that is
important as a matter of social justice, it is hard to have that kind of a society with men not working, with men not participating in the workforce, .specially prime-aged men as we have heard many times, people who are not working are much more likely to be in prison. people who are not working or much less likely to meet their obligation to their families, and more than that, if we care about dignity, and if we care about people living a full life, you know, for men, a lot of times that means paid employment. that is how a lot of men contribute to society, and true, it is renewed rated financially, but that does not change what is happening at a fundamental level umerated ren
financially, but that does not change what is happening at a fundamental level. if you care about men living full lives and enjoying that then taking steps to increase workforce participation are among men and taking steps to increase employment among men become of paramount importance. thank you. [applause] ms. vallas: good morning. we are approaching lunchtime, so maybe it is good afternoon. my name is rebecca bval -- vallas, and i will say that it has been fun listening this
morning, because there has been a lot of bipartisan participation. -- i findo from here it incredibly useful having a conversation about poverty more .roadly to start with a realistic snapshot of who is poor in -poor" itwho is "sub america, those living below poverty in this country, one in five children by that measure living in poverty, but less often discussed is how that poverty measure does not capture the larger share of individual in this country -- of individuals in this country meeting that, because it is set at such an austere level. $24,000 a year for two parents with two children at the 2014
level, and when you look at what is the cost of living, what it takes to maintain an adequate but basic standard of living, we are talking about that family of four meeting $50,000 at least to make their -- to meet their you findds, and what is about one in three americans, struggling to make ends meet. this is consistent with the federal reserve board. if they are people having trouble making ends meet, one in three people are facing that dilemma. i will also add that it is a widely held misperception that poverty is about us and them, a arery, that the "poor" behindns stuck for life some line. in truth, poverty is musical
chairs. half of all americans will experience at least one year of poverty or of teetering on the edge of poverty at some time , andg their working years that number rises to four out of five americans when you count a year of being unemployed or of a head of household being unemployed or of having to turn to a safety net. meanwhile, there are a few americans live persistently below that poverty line. when you look at the time between 2009 and 2011, fewer than 4% were poor all three years in a. -- in a row. now, this comes as a shock way you hear these numbers, until you look further. the three main drivers are job loss or having your hours cut and then life experiences.
in short, for most of us, poverty is not a lifelong identity. lived experience, so i will throw out another number, which may sound incredibly high until you listen to the tax. need tomericans will turn to the safety net at some time in their life, and i am not talking about social security. snap,alking about sanp -- unemployment insurance, and others. it may strengthen our safety net, but it is not limited. it is more important than ever to help individuals and their downs,s with the ups and with the vicissitudes, if you life, and i do find it
critical to start from a place of understanding poverty in america before we go to policy. we are not talking about a class a broken people. we are talking about a broken economy. pointed out, the full-employment -- 20 years on, the evidence is clear that there is a cautionary tale, not a model for other programs. you heard from her how it reaches precious few family in need. help,than one in four for down from two thirds. is about 80% of families in their time of need. helpfulram is willfully in recession and even declined
in some states. woefullyogram is and evenn recession declined in some states. helping participants get into jobs is not even a measured outcome today, nor is poverty reduction, despite what this program is purportedly about, and as you heard at length again nna, 95% of sanp -- funds go to help families purchase food. it also does a very poor job supporting married and cohabiting families. and there is the maintenance of families as something you want this program to achieve, the program generally does not serve two-parent families.
froma portion receive help tanf today. it is incredible in reaching a very small and declining fraction of struggling families of kids. benefits are so meager that even the lucky few who receive tanf are still unable to meet their basic needs, and that is because provideate does tanf benefit up even half of the poverty level, and we are talking $10,000 for a family of three. even income from tanf and snap is not enough to bring people to the poverty line in any state. light of this, a proposal ,o model programs after tanf something we hear a lot about, whether in the housing assistance or health insurance, would be nothing short of a blueprint for exacerbating poverty and inequality in this country, and one additional note
on work requirements. continued calls for extending work requirements to other are not as a panacea only unrelated to what these policies achieve, but they are fundamentald on a misunderstanding of what the individuals and families who find themselves needing to turn to public assistance are experiencing, what their lives look like. of the households that receive assistance are elderly, disabled, or working households who are not kept out of poverty by the too-low minimum wage, and that is something we will have a friendly disagreement about. that i think is important to mention is the inclusion of counterproductive penalties that prevent families from having even modest precautionary savings. fromnly does it keep them building what they need to get
ahead, making it more likely for them to have to remain on assistance or have to return to , asbut the policy is also the evidence shows, incredibly wasteful from the perspective, and the research finds nearly do not evenicans have $400 in savings, and that means states are wasting taxpayer dollars by trying to find a needle in a haystack. remarks withf disability insurance, because that has come up today, before i think we go from here, and i say commissioner more, but the perception that somehow everyone is going on for anyone inand
this room who thinks it is easy to qualify for social security disability benefits, i would urge you to speak to someone who has tried to access the benefits they have earned or someone who has handled or still handles those cases. that is something i did for years as a legal aid lawyer before i entered the public policy years. listen as i tried to explain disabled.kes to be you have to have a physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or to result in your death, and you have to have that impairment in such a way that you can document that you cannot s in theob that exist entire national economy in significant numbers at a level where you can earn even $1090 per month. we are talking
about, and the vast majority of people who apply for these benefits, despite the fact that they earned to them, do not qualify and do not receive assistance, and thousands of people die each year waiting for those benefits because it is so hard to document that disability. this is something to keep in mind when we talk about this perception that people are this program. examining this question about with men,ipation rate they have found there is virtually no relationship. i am happy to talk to anyone who wants to hear more about what it takes to qualify for this program. so where do we go from here? 20-yearthe tanf anniversary is a time to reflect , not just for kids and families, and strengthening tanf
should be a priority going forward, but i think it is an inortunity to keep tanf perspective as one part of a larger anti-poverty policy aim tothat we could wards. this is particularly important given economic instability now being such a widespread experience due to decades of flat and declining wages, with gains of economic growth increasingly in the hands of those in the top 1%. other things in addition to the engthening that donald laid out this morning, if we are having a conversation about how we want to move people from welfare to work, we would be missing a huge piece of the puzzle if we did not think about jobs and wages effort you girly for folks who have been left out of the labor market, so we have
wages-- about jobs and for those folks who have been left out of the labor market. elevated rates of underemployment and unemployment not in school and not working between the ages of 16 and 24, people with criminal --ords, people disabilities research would yield dividends when it comes to pushing towards full employment, but we also need to focus on pathways for those left behind, and i would hope we would be thinking about nationaleships, about service, but also about subsidized service. , one thing we should learn about is what happened at the height of the great recession, putting thousands back to work and helping them so things on their resume
they can move forward. raising wages print this is not --essarily bipartisan, but raising wages. is not necessarily bipartisan, but the minimum wage has been stuck for over six years, and when you think about what it takes for a minimum-wage thingsto earn the same today as they did in 2009, they now have to work an additional sameours to have those real earnings. that is what we are talking about. the minimum wage to $12 would not only lift millions out of poverty, it would also yield substantial savings in public programs, such as food stamps. we would save billions over 10 years if we were to raise the minimum wage in that way. i would just say it is great to see the expansion of some
programs, but evidence does make clear that this policy has to go hand in hand with raising the minimum wage. policies so working families do not need to be making choices between work and caregiving, and that includes paid leave, particularly with the birth of a child being a leading driver of poverty in this country. also, having flexible schedules is critical. taking a look at how the ragged , that isthe job market something i think we need to and i think we should look seriously at opportunities to harness the child tax credit as a tool for investing in the next generation. , buted to strengthen tanf we also should be looking at policies to increase income, and
as pertains to children in the first few years of life, this is groupsng a number of have been looking at, and i what to -- and i want to look at what michael talked about about removing barriers. occupational licensing is critical, and i think we need to look at the criminal justice system and poverty in this country. that if not shown for the trends that we have seen betweenincarceration 1980 and 2004, our nations offered to rate would have dropped by 1/5. you cannot ignore the intersection between the two, and on the back end of that puzzle, what we have now is one in three of americans have some kind of critical -- criminal , and this affects nearly
half of american children, who now have at least one parent with a criminal record, and because of the barriers to housing, education, and more, those children find their life chances affected. we cannot ignore the second chance policies, particularly for children, and then i would echo the message that lead to be careful as we think about the -- the learned from message that we need to be careful as we think about the .essons learned from tanf whether health insurance or the lack of affordable housing, we have real opportunities in the new administration to think lyeatively and even bipartisan to do this.rtisanly this is for families struggling to get by. thank you.
[applause] >> thank you for being here, and thank you to the cato institute. to account for a marginal improvement of what you heard today, i'm going to speak at a level of generality about political purposes and premises that shape the debate over welfare. not quite two years after the law we are discussing today was enacted, the new york times denounced the state of idaho for having reduced its welfare rolls .y 77% over the preceding years
according to one academic expert quoted in the article, idaho has effectively made it so worst place in the nation to be poor. that is and was a contestable assertion, but also a clarifying formulation. the clear implication is that the goal of welfare policy is to make a state a best place in the nation to be poor and a nation the best place in the world to be poor. thattimes" argued government strictly limits the amount spent on welfare programs and the number of people enrolled in them. it follows that increasing welfare spending and enrollment is the key at making a place good for the poor. it is possible, however, to stipulate the goal but also to
arrive at a different conclusion about the meaning of the imperative. an alternate account would be the best place to be poor is where you would likely to be poor briefly as opposed to respectively. respectfully. a dynamic economy with numerous opportunities to begin and switch careers or start and expand enterprises and powerful social norms that offer the poor sympathy and encouragement, qualified by the tough love that reproaches people for choices, habits, or dispositions that increase the likelihood they were their children will become poor